I Don’t Go To College, I Go To NYU

The above is the name of a Facebook group, with over 2600 members, for students who attend NYU. There are two other similar ones called “You know you go to NYU when…” and “I go to the #1 Dream School in the Nation.” All three of these groups contain similar information about NYU and students’ experiences attending this extremely unique school.


The groups contain various perks and drawbacks to the different aspects of attending a school in lower Manhattan, such as “Instead of frisbees and picnics, your campus lawn has drug dealers and street musicians” (in reference to Washington Square Park); or “You accidentally wander onto film sets.” The interesting thing about the groups for NYU, however, is that most of the perks and drawbacks are true (our football team really is undefeated since WWII…because we don’t have one).

One major drawback that these groups shed light on, however, is that NYU doesn’t really have much of an idea of school pride or unity. While other college students are united by going to the rallies for their respective football teams or by rushing for various fraternities and sororities, NYU-ers are united by “not having to use communal bathrooms.” Once you get here, you realize that you are not living the life of a typical college student, you are living the life of someone residing in New York City, taking classes.
I remember freshman year orientation when the cheerleaders (apparently, we have cheerleaders) tried to get the freshmen to get up and dance. Jumping and gesticulating wildly, they happily yelled, “Yeah class of 2011! Let’s have! Some! Fun!” We, true New York students, responded with blank stares and some scattered applause. Props to the cheerleaders, who’s smiles didn’t get any smaller (they must have been used to this type of reaction), but eventually they stopped jumping so high.

Before deciding to send NYU my housing deposit the summer before freshman year, someone told me that students who come to NYU either absolutely love it or absolutely hate it. Students who want a true, green-quad, frat-party, communal-bathroom college probably make up the latter. But if you’re one of those students that is willing to “say excuse me to determined pigeons on the sidewalk who know where they’re going and are probably late,” welcome to NYU.

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One thought on “I Don’t Go To College, I Go To NYU

  1. I really like your piece, it differs from any other article I have read that attempts to distinguish the differences between NYU and “normal” college. Its different in that it doesn’t degrade NYU to be less of a college, rather it presents the idea that NYU students want to be the living the life we do. I also think your colloquial tone really adds to the meaning.

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